As we get older the one thing that may shoot down our confidence faster than feeling tired is looking tired. Ice packs to reduce puffiness, makeup to camouflage or an extra shot of espresso with your morning cup of coffee can only masquerade the bags under your eyes for so long. Once you are refreshed and have caught up on your recommended 8 hours of sleep, you may still have a tired look. Could it be you have caught up on your zzz’s and there’s a different reason your eyes are giving away your age? What causes bags under my eyes other than lack of sleep?

Sleep deprivation can cause dark circles around the eyes. Lack of sleep decreases oxygen that is available to the eyes causing blood vessels to dilate making the eyes look red or bloodshot. Beause the skin around the eyes is already thin and translucent, dark circles and puffiness are more noticeable. Finding ways to rest and relax with a good night’s sleep can be the simple solution for bags under the eyes. Still, there may be other reasons that cause bags under the eyes other than a lack of sleep. Allergies, sun exposure and sodium intake are top contributors to bags under the eyes. Seasonal or perennial allergies can affect the eyes. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine and scheduling allergy testing with your doctor are the best ways to treat and diagnose allergies to see if they are the cause of bags under your eyes. It’s no secret that you should be using a daily sunscreen. However, many people forget the importance of applying sunscreen around the eyes. Skin discoloration and risk for skin cancer can still occur in the small, delicate area around the eyes. Consuming foods with a high amount of sodium can increase fluid retention in the body and be the reason for bloated skin around the eyes as well as other areas of the body. Simply eliminating a high intake of salty foods will help alleviate the bags under your eyes. Be sure to eliminate smoking and alcohol use as well. Not only will it provide you with better overall health, but tobacco use and excessive alcohol ages the skin. Sometimes bags under the eyes may be an indicator of an underlying health concern such as thyroid issues so consult with your doctor for a healthy lifestyle plan as well as any necessary testing to determine any ongoing health issues. 

The most common explanation for dark circles or bags under the eyes is structural. We lose subcutaneous fat as we age. In addition, muscles and tissues also weaken over time. This combination can result in dark circles or bags under the eyes. Although bags may cause psychological or emotional stress, they do not pose any harmful health concerns. Under eye bags can be treated with at-home remedies like a cool compress, eliminating some poor habits and covering with makeup. If these options do not satisfy you, a surgical option known as a lower blepharoplasty will remove or reposition the fat or skin underneath the eyes. This process is effective in addressing bags under the eyes. Other options include laser treatments, dermal filler or Botox injections. 

For more information on under eye treatments, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or WEBSITE